Devotions upon Emergent Occasions Additional Summary

John Donne


(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Sources for Further Study

Frost, Kate Gartner. Holy Delight: Typology, Numerology, and Autobiography in Donne’s “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions.” Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990. Frost argues that the work, despite its idiosyncrasies, belongs to the tradition of English devotional literature and spiritual autobiography.

Guibbory, Achsah, ed. The Cambridge Companion to John Donne. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Provides a comprehensive survey of essays on Donne’s life and writings. Of particular interest are “Donne’s Religious World,” by Alison Shell and Arnold Hunt; “Devotional Writing,” by Helen Wilcox; and “Facing Death,” by Ramie Targoff.

Mueller, Janel. Introduction to Donne’s Prebend Sermons. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971. The superb introduction treats the sermons from the period following Donne’s illness, a period informed by Donne’s conviction that he had been restored to health so that he could preach.

Raspa, Anthony. Introduction to Devotions upon Emergent Occasions. Edited with commentary by Anthony Raspa. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Provides an interesting review of the scholarly conjecture concerning Donne’s illness and an excellent discussion of Donne and the meditative tradition.

Weber, Joan. Contrary Music: The Prose Style of John Donne. 1963. Reprint. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1986. An insightful discussion of Donne’s religious prose with a concluding section on the Devotions upon Emergent Occasions and its tripartite division.